A special meeting of Lanark Community Council to meet the new administrative head of the practice Gail Wylie heard some straight talking, not only about the practice’s sometimes troubled past under its former The Lanark Doctors guise but what she intends to do to improve matters.
The former police officer, who went on a 14-year-long career as a practice manager in the Lothians, first addressed the past problems, claiming; “The Lanark Doctors was a mess.”
She stated that when she first came to Lanark in the summer she found a pile of unanswered patient complaints “as thick as a telephone directory. Some of them had been there forever.”
She had spent much time belatedly following up these complaints and contacting the patients involved to assure them their problems would be sorted out under the new Woodstock Medical Centre.
She added she had been “horrified” to hear that patients had sometimes to wait on the phone for 40 minutes to speak to a GP under the twice daily surgery call sessions.
She said that she had “definite plans” for how the practice would now operate and among the first will be moving on Monday, November 5 to a single, 8am to 10am call session, Ms Wylie assuring council members that this would actually increase the number of actual doctors appointments each day.
She said that proper triage of patients was at the heart of the new system, “working out who actually needs to see a GP and who can be dealt with by another member of the team.”
This, she said, would consist of five GPs, three advanced nurse practicioners and two pharmacists. She also pledged closer co-operation between the practice and the adjoining Lanark Health Centre.